Second Amended SGM Lawsuit Filed-Horrific Allegations!

Pastors named. Pray for the alleged victims. TWW will post link and comment this evening. Dee and Deb are in complete shock. May God have mercy on His people.

Comments

Second Amended SGM Lawsuit Filed-Horrific Allegations! — 69 Comments

  1. I already feel anxious about what the new plaintiffs will add. All of these alleged victims are very brave. I’m thankful for the first plaintiffs that blazed a trail, and gave courage to others to come forward. May the Lord cleanse His house of those who allegedly abuse others in His name.

  2. This will be interesting but sad to see. By “named” it sounds like you are saying that that these “named” pastors are alleged to have been child molesters vs. just poorly handling cases of molesation? So far I think 2 pastors have been “named.”

  3. FYI – the link to the amended suit with the new charges is now posted on Brents website – and it will make you vomit –

  4. To our readers,

    I have now read through the entire "Second Amended Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand" filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in Montgomery County, Maryland.

    Dee is working on our post and will publish it sometime this evening.  Please pray for her.

    WARNING WARNING WARNING!

    If you are planning to read the complaint, you need to understand that it is HIGHLY GRAPHIC.

    I cannot emphasize this strongly enough.

    Please exercise extreme caution! 

  5. Deb wrote:

    WARNING WARNING WARNING!

    If you are planning to read the complaint, you need to understand that it is HIGHLY GRAPHIC. I cannot emphasize this strongly enough.

    Please exercise extreme caution!

    AKA

    This is gonna be Bad. Real BAD.

  6. May God bring justice swiftly on behalf of all these precious victims whose innocence was shattered and stolen. May He heal each one and make them whole.

    And may the truth of the magnitude of evil committed under the SGM banner be seen for what it is – a very dark and demonic stronghold –

    In my opinion, to read this, understand it, and remain a member of this organization is to willingly chose to align yourself with the devil.

  7. “In my opinion, to read this, understand it, and remain a member of this organization is to willingly chose to align yourself with the devil.”

    Every SBC member who gives money that supports SBTS needs to read lawsuit and see what Mohler and Dever have promoted and protected because SGM is “Reformed”. What he sees as “strong leadership” because this is what is behind the closed doors of a shepherding cult where your “leadership” is your Holy Spirit for you.

    I have not read past page 15 yet. I am sick. Literally sick for these children. I owe it to them to read the whole thing but I have to stop and pray for those precious plaintiffs.

    If this is all true, and I believe it is for several reasons, I pray for justice here on earth. These men are (alleged) monsters.

    Never ever forget the laser like focus on “sex” at SGM.

  8. There are people who comment here that were horribly abused as children that might not want to read it. It could be extremely triggering. Please be careful friends.

  9. I’ll repeat this again — ANYONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCED SEXUAL ABUSE of any kind SHOULD NOT READ these court documents. I have never experienced such things and can hardly read it. I’m in tears . . . and ill.

  10. What’s so shocking is that the Gospel Coalition website is silent on this child sexual abuse complaint — and they still list C. J. Mahaney as one of their council members. How can they look in the mirror in the morning? How can they kiss their children and grandchildren?

    Gospel Coalition’s listing here:
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/category/interviews/a

    His Gospel Coalition bio here:
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/name-index/a/CJ_Mahaney/category/interviews

    Here are the Gospel Coalition counsel members who might end up with a millstone around their necks for causing children to stumble. You need to be on the correct side, guys! Time to go public…and do so boldly.
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/about/council-members

  11. Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. Please continue to pray for everyone involved in this case.

  12. I am a victim of (two times) sexual abuse by an older man/father figure. It devastated my life for years and I had professional Christian counseling for a long time. I handled this just fine. I rejoice to see these brave people coming forward and putting a stop to decades of evil. Although I feel TERRIBLE for the victims, I also know that God can make it up to you ten times over, work it for great good in all kinds of ways, and turn you into an instrument that can help others in a way you never would have been able to do without the suffering.

    If you want to read it, then read it. If it wrecks you that means you need to GET HELP. You can get past sex abuse. As Elizabeth Smart says (yeah, I know she is a Mormon), they stole part of your life from you, so don’t give them one more minute. You can be happy. You can have a happy and rich fulfilling life.

  13. Well, SGM, are these charges too vague for you now? The church is going to stand in judgement if it does not expose and condemn this outright. Thank God there are a few brave souls willing to do so, even if they have to suffer for it. Thank you, Dee, Deb, and Julie Anne.

    To the alleged victims: my heart breaks for you. I wish I could stand with you right now. I do in prayer. May justice be served here on Earth.

  14. Hey, Ben Peays, Collin Hansen, Matt Smethurst, Kathleen B. Nielson, Joe Carter, John Starke, Josh Mathews, Bill Walsh, Hannah Moody, Andy Naselli, and Charles Anderson. Why doesn’t the Gospel Coalition report on this and stand up for the victims? We want to know why you hide evil people? Jesus had a lot of say about this.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/about/staff/

  15. I am in tears.

    Heartbroken for the innocent who were targeted by evil, selfish, stupid men.

    Enraged at the silence & complicity from those who should have known better! And at those who continue to plug their ears and cover their eyes instead of acknowledging these very serious allegations!

    I stand with these victims, as someone who understands what they have gone through. My Momma-Bear instincts are crying for justice. I can’t bear to imagine my precious child in those situations, but unbidden I do imagine it…. and my blood boils.

    May these evil acts be brought to light, the offenders exposed to scrutiny, with no where for them to hide!

  16. Absolutely horrific. Well, SGM motion to dismiss claimed they didn’t have details and specifics — they do now. I guess in their sheer arrogance they never thought these victims would have the courage to actually stand up and publicly testify to these horrific abuses that they endured. I think pastors overestimated their ability to intimidate and control. They were able to silence so many victims for so long and convincingly fool so many others they must have really believed no one would ever tell on them.

  17. Dee, Deb —

    I am confused as to why we haven’t heard of more arrests of men who were named as alleged offenders. Has too much time passed for some of these men to be charged with crimes? There were several men implicated in the amendment that I had never heard of (and some I have heard of). Nor have I heard if any of them have been charged with crimes.

  18. Janey wrote:

    Hey, Ben Peays, Collin Hansen, Matt Smethurst, Kathleen B. Nielson, Joe Carter, John Starke, Josh Mathews, Bill Walsh, Hannah Moody, Andy Naselli, and Charles Anderson. Why doesn’t the Gospel Coalition report on this and stand up for the victims?

    Because mass rape of children isn’t as important as having Truly Reformed Theology all Perfectly Parsed. More Spiritual/Godly/Gospelly, you know.

  19. Janey wrote:

    What’s so shocking is that the Gospel Coalition website is silent on this child sexual abuse complaint — and they still list C. J. Mahaney as one of their council members.

    Humbly, of course.

    How can they look in the mirror in the morning?

    Humbly, of course.

    How can they kiss their children and grandchildren?

    HUMBLY, of course.

  20. Shortly before we were no longer with SGM, the Lord gave me a brief vision of a large, white boar when we were in church one day. That was before the lawsuit came out. At first, I thought it might have been my own mind/emotions playing tricks on me. This is confirmation beyond a doubt in my opinion, however, that it was indeed from God. These people and those who remain silent on their behalf are nothing more than “alleged” brute beasts. But they are not “totally depraved” by any means, they knew exactly what they were doing. Not sorry to say this, Augustine influenced theology worse than sucks.

  21. RB wrote:

    Shortly before we were no longer with SGM, the Lord gave me a brief vision of a large, white boar when we were in church one day.

    Large white boar? What is the symbology of a large white boar?

  22. Bridget wrote:

    Dee, Deb –
    I am confused as to why we haven’t heard of more arrests of men who were named as alleged offenders. Has too much time passed for some of these men to be charged with crimes? There were several men implicated in the amendment that I had never heard of (and some I have heard of). Nor have I heard if any of them have been charged with crimes.

    I think some of this has to do with statute of limitations. That is why I really would like to see a nationwide effort to remove statute of limitations. Some people, in order to survive their abuse, do not remember their abuse until years later. It’s ridiculous to have a time limit on something as destructive as sex abuse. BTW, hits are going crazy on my blog. I hope people do spread these links around on Facebook and social media. Tag news sources in your tweets and let’s get this thing going viral. This is reportedly the largest lawsuit of its kind in the evangelical world in the last century.

  23. no words.

    evil unfettered.

    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.

    (I skimmed many parts, but some of it was known via blogs; other segments confirm rumors that have been circulating for a long time. And yes, I know I should be saying “alleged” and “allegations,” but I can’t. Not anymore.)

  24. @ Janey:

    Janey, when the association starts to hurt book and ticket sales, they will back off from Mahaney. Remember, these are men who recently embraced Doug Wilson, too. It is all about Reformed doctrine. Just as what Piper told Bob M (a comment on another thread where he met with Piper) that he gives guys like Driscoll and Mahaney a pass on things because the Doctrines of Grace are so important.

    I was wondering why the Trustees at SBTS did not do something about Mohler’s promotion and protection of Mahaney until I found out (on TWW) that one of them used his position to keep a church from having to cooperate with an investigation of child molestion.

    For these men in lofty ministry positions, it is about power, image and influence. Thank God for social media as we are seeing how very corrupt Christendom really is. And yes, I think those who are influencers with large followings will have to answer for their silence. Silence is affirmation when you share stages with them.

  25. Julie Anne wrote:

    I think some of this has to do with statute of limitations. That is why I really would like to see a nationwide effort to remove statute of limitations.

    State of California specially waived statute of limitations regarding the Catholic “Pedophile Priest” coverup scandal. A move probably applauded by the likes of SGM.

  26. HUG, just the mental picture He gave me of a large, powerful, uncouth and filthy animal, I guess. I think the fact that it was a tusked boar has to do with the patriarchal authority thing SGM has going. And I personally love animals, excluding scorpions and spiders. Sorry if it seemed weird, doesn’t to me, looking back at it.

    Anon 1, yes, the irony of it all. Like it’s about Reformed, not power and money.

  27. Simply awful. And would agree…the Gospel Coalition’s silence in sickening-to say the very least;)

  28. dee wrote:

    Rumors abound that criminal investigations are ongoing.

    They’d better be. I just read through the amended lawsuit documents at Julie Anne’s site. Points 75 & 76 read like the Satanic Ritual Abuse Sex Cult stories of the Eighties, gang-molestation, masks, and all. Somebody’s gotta go down for this, and HARD.

    Any “PERSECUTION!” rumblings yet from SGM and the Calvinista Mutual Adoration Society?

  29. RB wrote:

    HUG, just the mental picture He gave me of a large, powerful, uncouth and filthy animal, I guess.

    OK. Don’t know about “uncouth and filthy”, but a wild boar does embody “powerful” and “dangerous”. (They’re one of the most dangerous game animals I know of.) The white color kind of throws me, though.

  30. dee wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Any “PERSECUTION!” rumblings yet from SGM and the Calvinista Mutual Adoration Society?

    They are getting their beauty rest.

    HUMBLY, of course?

    (Just that the usual reaction in such a situation would be to circle the wagons and scream “PERSECUTION!!!!” Doublepluswarmfeelies about Being Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake (Humbly, of course) and confirmation of their own Gospelly Righteousness. That Righteousness attitude is what triggers me more than anything else; the Morally Superior Certainty That I AM RIGHT AND I AM PURE AND I AM GODLY.)

  31. dee wrote:

    Any “PERSECUTION!” rumblings yet from SGM and the Calvinista Mutual Adoration Society?

    Ha! They are busy talking to their lawyers and PR/marketing people.

  32. Anon 1 wrote:

    And yes, I think those who are influencers with large followings will have to answer for their silence. Silence is affirmation when you share stages with them.

    They can laugh at the victims, but God isn’t laughing.

  33. HUG, I think white might have been because it’s been mostly about attracting White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASP) to their good ol boys’ club, from affluent American Suburbia. Of course, they call it bringing the true gospel to un-churched areas. They have given God, the true gospel, Jesus Christ and good churches a bad name, imo. Was it here that I read about the thief who stole God’s hat?

  34. @ RB:

    White boars, like whitewashed tombs…?

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

  35. Having covered trials in Canada (abuse, sexual abuse, rape) I understand shock. It is a human, natural and necessary defence against evil.

    There is no statue of limitations in Canada for sexual abuse, the law is federal and applies to all provinces and territories.

    Canada also has something called a ‘ban of publication’ or ‘publication ban’ that a judge can put in place in a criminal trial which prevents media from reporting graphic details, (names of victims and witnesses) until a verdict was rendered. (Minor victims cannot be named)

    There were many times in courtrooms I wanted to throw up. The courage of the victims/survivors and those tasked to walk along side them to support them, kept me from doing so. The courage of victims/survivors cannot be understated. The dogged tenacity and determination of victims advocates, investigators and prosecutors is a light in a dark, dark world of harm, and through the long night of seeking justice.

    Please pray for the plaintiffs lawyers.
    To receive so many calls, to hear so many stories of abuse, and alleged SGM institutional coverup; then to choose, compile and file, takes it’s toll on even the most experienced child abuse lawyers.

    I think evil is banal.
    To read the dreariness of alleged repeated behaviour across states, across churches, across ‘doctrine’, across time; to read again of the utter disregard for the value of those created in the image and likeness of God, to read of grooming, silencing; the selfishness and hubris of power, and the choices of men in leadership seemingly accepted as a normal is difficult to wrap my thoughts around.

    First Amendment claims don’t cut it with this amended filing, these are not ‘vague allegations’ putting ‘the spiritual and doctrinal affairs of SGM and the local churches directly at issue.’

  36. former SGM 1990s wrote:

    If you want to read it, then read it. If it wrecks you that means you need to GET HELP. You can get past sex abuse. As Elizabeth Smart says (yeah, I know she is a Mormon), they stole part of your life from you, so don’t give them one more minute. You can be happy. You can have a happy and rich fulfilling life.

    I am very glad that you have no remaining physiological damage after your experiences. You have been given a great gift. But it would be useful for you to research Complex PTSD, because some people have flashbacks when reading stuff like this–it is a physiological thing and extremely hard on the mind/body.

    Getting past sexual abuse (and the other abuses that often surrounds the specific acts) doesn’t necessarily mean that one becomes free of flashbacks. And flashbacks do not mean that one spends time needlessly sunk in the abyss or that one has no joy or meaning in life.

    Sometimes a person recovers after an auto accident but at other times, one remains paralyzed even after faithful physical therapy. It would be cruel to tell the latter person that she hasn’t yet gotten past the accident. I’m sure you don’t mean to sound that way, and only mean to offer peace and healing.

    Judith Herman’s “Trauma and Recovery” is useful. Also Pete Walker at his site: http://www.pete-walker.com/

  37. @ Patrice:

    Thank you for writing this! In total agreement. The truth is that some of us, through no fault of our own, will never completely heal from the damage that’s been done to our minds and lives. For us, there is no such thing as God “making it up to us 10 times over” – that’s impossible/unrealistic in this life.

    I say this as an optimist, someone who’s often full of mysterious cheer and untamed silliness/zest for life.

  38. dee wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy: Are you doing OK? I have been praying for you.

    Things have mellowed down a bit. I’m able to sleep again. Still getting what could be anxiety attacks, but if so they’re manifesting differently than anxiety attacks in my past (I used to have them on a regular basis some 30 years ago, and the symptoms were very consistent). And since the prostate cancer scare began, I’ve gotten hit by some $8000 in emergency expenses (home repairs; plumbing/heating/cooling all wearing out at once) and just last night a contact some 2000 miles away called me up begging me to let him move out here and crash on my floor indefinitely (“There HAVE to be jobs where you are!”) — he fell on hard times some years ago and was being evicted that night.

  39. dee wrote:

    They sure did a lot of writing on Dr Kermit Gosnell before his conviction.

    I think this is excellent frame of reference. The Gosnell trial was important, and needed to be reported on. The buzz was necessary because of the huge implications for public perception of abortion, women, poor, etc.

    I think the same of this SGM trial. In the interest of children in churches everywhere, this trial needs to be out in the open and everyone aware of the implications. Abuse can and does happen – even in the most “perfect” of churches. Simply having a nice, godly man in charge and perfect doctrine does not prevent the awful from happening!!

  40. @ Bene D:

    I think evil is banal.
    To read the dreariness of alleged repeated behaviour across states, across churches, across ‘doctrine’, across time; to read again of the utter disregard for the value of those created in the image and likeness of God, to read of grooming, silencing; the selfishness and hubris of power, and the choices of men in leadership seemingly accepted as a normal is difficult to wrap my thoughts around.

    yes – as Hannah Arendt famously wrote re. Adolf Eichmann.

  41. dee wrote:

    They sure did a lot of writing on Dr Kermit Gosnell before his conviction.

    That’s because the subject was Abortion.

    NOT God’s Predestined Anointed Elect with Perfectly-Parsed Biblical Doctrine.

    Culture War Without End, Amen.

  42. After reading the lawsuit, I think it’s safe to say that, barring mass conspiracy, SGM is really, fully, finally, permanently sunk. There’s just no way I can think of that anybody could possibly get around what was in those allegations. And per mass conspiracy, that doesn’t usually work…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d18qlGLh1ew

  43. Hester wrote:

    After reading the lawsuit, I think it’s safe to say that, barring mass conspiracy, SGM is really, fully, finally, permanently sunk. There’s just no way I can think of that anybody could possibly get around what was in those allegations.

    Unfortunately, Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory DOES provide a perfect defense, at least in their own minds. Because a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is a completely-closed system — any evidence against The Conspiracy is PROOF of The Conspiracy (Disinformation planted by The Conspiracy); lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is PROOF of The Conspiracy (so powerful and all-encompassing They Can Silence Anyone & Everyone); and anyone who doubts The Conspiracy has PROVEN themselves to be part of The Conspiracy.

    The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

    And the particular type of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory that would fit SGM — God’s Faithful Remnant (SGM) vs Satan’s World System (Everything Else) — is especially insidious, elevating everything to literally Cosmic importance. God or Satan, Christ or The World.

    It is possible that SGM might seal themselves off into that Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory to preserve their own perceived Utter Righteousness. “Blessed are ye who are PERSECUTED for Righteousness’ Sake…”

  44. @ former SGM 1990s:

    “I also know that God can make it up to you ten times over”
    ****************

    And when this doesn’t happen, then what? A sincere question, based on reality.

  45. @ elastigirl:
    Well, God didn’t make it up to me ten times over, but he didn’t turn me into an instrument, either, which sounds dreadful. Small mercies? :-/

  46. This is from SGM official statement

    “Our careful review of the allegations to date has not produced any evidence of any cover-up or conspiracy. If we discover otherwise, our Board will immediately report it to the authorities and see that it is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Without minimizing the serious nature of these allegations nor the grievous harm individuals may have experienced, we understand that it is possible for people to be wrongly accused. We thank God for the judicial system where these allegations can be brought, a defense made, and a verdict rendered through a fair and just process.”

    / It is sickening to me that this is what SGM puts out as their official statement. Nowhere do they say anything about these poor children who have clearly been harmed, or how they are praying for these victims, or how sickened they are if these types of things occurred in any SGM churches. Instead SGM simply runs the children over in an effort to circle the wagons.
    This is not reflective of the God that we serve or of his heart for the little ones.
    May The Lord bring healing and comfort to these survivors, and may he have mercy and show true grace to these men who have become blind to their sin./

  47. @ Truthwillout:

    I’ve heard that SGM, et al have a habit of redefining words. I expect they’ve redefined “cover-up” and “conspiracy”. Perhaps “careful” and “immediately”, too.

  48. @ Patrice:

    hi patrice.

    i’m allergic to the christian version of spin around, clap 3 times, abracadabra, poof!

    And the process and poof tied to your character and spiritual maturity.

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  50. I realize this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I’d be hesitant to too quickly affirm the truth of every allegation. We learned in the satanic abuse scandals of the 1980s and 1990s that allegations of mass child abuse aren’t always true. It’s not generally due to any mass conspiracy, but simply because memory is unreliable.

    I don’t doubt that there were abuses. That the church was involved in silencing victims of familial abuse and that inappropriate contact may have occurred between older and younger children during home groups seems likely. But, when allegations of group abuse involving top leaders that went entirely unreported until recently start arising, I just can’t take off my skeptic hat. Again, I don’t think it’s that anybody is willfully lying, or that anybody is out for some kind of smear campaign, but that we know that memory is often unreliable and that people can be quite easily induced–by the most well-meaning professionals and from reading reports of others’ experiences–to “remember” things that never occurred.

    I know that the scandals of the 1980s and 1990s followed the same pattern: initially, there were isolated instances of more “mundane” abuse, which then morphed into more and more stories of increasingly horrific abuse involving more and more people. It worries me that these stories seem to be following the same trajectory, because that trajectory tends to signal mass panic/hysteria, not truth-telling. As much as I dislike the authoritarian stance of SGM and think they indeed woefully mishandled the sexual abuse cases that people have known about for years, I don’t want to see all of their leaders caught up in a witch hunt. When you start getting more and more stories of more and more serious and bizarre abuse as a case goes on, I do think it’s important to step back and consider if maybe it is another case of false memories/reports.

  51. Lori

    Just because there have been lies by some folks in the past does not mean that there are lies or “falsely recovered memories” now. The fact that so many allegedly covered up so many reports for so long raises a question. Why? Were they all just nice guys naively “protecting” the church? SGM is a top down organization. This stuff most likely came from the top. For example, few people in SGM batted an eye when CJ talked about Carolyn having sex with him when she was pregnant and, when she vomited, he laughed. Wow! Seriously weird and sadistic. Nice guys protecting a nice church? There are too many red flags for me to believe that this is a made up situation. Could I be wrong? Yep 

    I do not like the word “witch hunt.” A witch hunt is a deliberate attempt to hurt the targeted individuals (I grew up in Salem and always enjoy witch analogies). What you suggest is that you believe that the alleged victims might be deliberately lying. You say it “worries you.” I, too, worry. I worry that their allegations could be true and that people have been hurting kids for years. I worry that people like and admire these nice guys and do not believe that such nice guys can be guilty of terrible sin. I find such thinking amusing in light of a belief in the total depravity of man combined with Mahaney’s pronouncements that he is the worst sinner in the world.  As I have said before, I think their motto should be “I am the worst sinner I know but I am the nicest, coolest worst sinner I know.”

    Finally, I was involved in a case which involved a pedophile and a church. Let me tell you- the type of abuse was sickening and one which you might find unbelievable and bizarre, He is now serving a lengthy jail sentence. Oh yeah, and he was the nicest of sinners-good family, seminary student and church volunteer. Everyone loved him. He also looooooved to host sleepovers as well.

    I can assure you that I have considered false memories, lies, hysteria as possibilities yet I continue to stand with the victims. If I am wrong, then so be it. I prefer to err on the side of the hurting.

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